Naropa Professor Receives Top Award From American Art Therapy Association


September 13, 2016 (Boulder, CO)—Naropa University today announced that Dr. Michael Franklin, the primary designer and coordinator for the Naropa Community Art Studio and the Chair of the Graduate Art Therapy Program at Naropa University, has received the 2016 Distinguished Educator Award from the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). In receiving this prestigious award, Dr. Franklin was credited for his expertise in art-based research methods, community-based approaches to art, art therapy, and expressive therapies.

The AATA is the nation’s leading non-profit organization for advancing the art therapy profession, and is dedicated to advancing the work of art therapists around the world who use the creative process to help people of all ages improve their psychological health and emotional well-being.

Dr. Franklin was recognized for his significant contributions to the education of professionals in the field of art therapy, specifically in the area of outstanding teaching and the development of innovative educational practices. He is an international lecturer and has published numerous articles on various subjects including aesthetics, self-esteem, AIDs iconography, interpretive strategies, community based art therapy, and contemplative approaches including yoga, meditation and empathic methods. Michael’s current research focuses on integrating the relationships between art therapy, social engagement, yoga philosophy, and meditation. His forthcoming book, “Art as Contemplative Practice: Expressive Pathways to the Self,” will be published in early 2017 by the State University of New York (SUNY) Press.

“Michael sets a high standard for our students while meeting them with a compassionate humanity and respect for their unique expression as budding art therapists and counselors,” said Deborah Bowman, PhD, Dean of Naropa’s Graduate School of Counseling and Psychology.

About Naropa University ( Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private, liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Naropa University is a leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom traditions and traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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